Sunday, April 13, 2008

My room of requirement

The paint turned out okay, and the guys had to fix it....4 coats later to cover the messy edges, I think they learned their lesson...I made my kids clean up some of the dust and junk they left behind. I'll post some pictures tomorrow or maybe the next day. The master bedroom ended up grey, with white trim, specifically a trendy new shade from Benjamin Moore called Escarpment, with Cloud White trim and ceilings.

The baby room has ended up a bright sunny yellow called Golden Crust from Para. (No longer made, had to be custom mixed.) The trim, door, and chair rail is a bright blue, a blue very similar to Thomas the Tank's engine. I got it from a movie poster of a movie called Thomas and the Magic Railroad. (First one pictured at the top of the link) The movie was filmed here in TO and I knew some of the people who worked on it. We had the movie poster mounted on a wooden backing, and it was always meant to go either in the playroom, or in the room of the new baby.

You know, the room that never got to be---until now.

We bought this house in 2003 when I was pregnant with Miranda. It had 4 bedrooms, perfect for us, including a lovely little room that was perfect for a baby. We knew we would have to renovate the house at some point, but for now, it was just what we needed. We got into a bidding war, paid over asking price, and won the right to mortgage ourselves to the hilt.

All for that room. Our boys could've kept sharing their one bedroom at the old house, and we could've stayed there for a few more years. But the fact that I stayed pregnant past 6 weeks, then made it to 12 weeks, all meant that we could no longer put it off. The spring market was the best way to sell our house, and find another one.

By the time we moved in, the baby was dead, and every time I looked at that room, I felt sick. It was covered in an animal print border, but I did not have the mental energy to rip it off. We put our computer there, and our files and papers and junk. Mostly, I just closed the door, and tried not to think about what should be there instead.

I muddled through that year, and in 2004, we were going to use it for the next baby we were expecting, but as you know, that ended at 16 weeks....I'd finally got the energy to start ripping off the wall border, since I wanted to decorate differently, but I never got any further, and I closed the door and walked away again.

When my husband started his new business, he needed a home office, and we couldn't ignore the room, but I could not do it alone either, and my husband and I could only argue over the room. We'd be getting along just fine---and we walked in that room and tensed up. It was like a poison place to us. So I hired my organizer and she and I, over two days, rearranged the room, purged the papers, put up shelves and a desk, and made it into a workspace for him. Nothing like an impersonal third party to help carry you through the painful parts of life when you can't walk that walk.....

Since then, he worked in the room, but I couldn't. I just closed the door and walked away.

This is why the last week has been so stressful for me. The room that has never properly fit in our house, will finally have it's purpose fulfilled, I hope. Just seeing it empty and painted and starting to be furnished is......

I can't finish that sentence.

I want to write "healing", but every step is so painful, how can this be it? I want this sore spot to be gone. If I can't change the memories, then I know we'll either have to sell the house, or tear it down with a wrecking ball. I can't just sit here, year after year, with it left hanging like this.

My friend Warren Kinsella has a post about the kind of time that grief takes. He normally writes political or punk rock posts, but every once in a while, he writes about his family and his grief over the loss of his father, and then, he writes such breathtakingly beautiful things, I wonder why he ever writes about any other subject. To quote him,"I cannot tell this friend that the world ever seems the same, afterwards. It doesn't. If you are fortunate, however, it starts to feel less sad. It takes a long time."

He's right. It has taken a long time, too long. Five years is enough. I don't want to keep closing doors and walking away. It's time to feel less sad now.


  1. I wish you luck with that. And I hope you will soon find a lot of joy in that room.

  2. It sounds like a lovely room! & that it's been therapeutic for you to put it together. And thank for that link to Warren Kinsella's blog -- what a great post.

    Re: your comment on my blog -- at the rate I scrapbook, it would take me a lot longer than one session to finish a whole album, lol. ; ) But I'm thinking it's time to at least get started...!

  3. I know this feeling so, so well. I didn't do a thing for Maddy's room, but I knew which one it would be -- upstairs, facing east. It's now an office. The ghosts in our houses that we face each day are really heavy, aren't they. And yet -- this is my forever house. I knew it before Maddy. She would've loved it here, and the best I can do for her is make it well for the rest of us, whomever that winds up being.

    It's a pause, a space, and a place you need to just breathe into -- hopefully, one day, it will be.

  4. We tore our house apart so I wouldn't have to look at "the room." How's that for sanity? lol!

    But then I had a different empty room...and all the hopes and fears that went with it. And I'm so THRILLED to be able to decorate and do all the stuff you're "supposed to" do in one of those rooms.

    I SO HOPE you get to use your room. I have all my appendages crossed for luck and hope and peace and healing.

  5. I wonder if I'll ever be able to decorate that room in my house.

    Your ending paragraph is so apt. Some griefs dissipate more quickly than others, and it's hard to predict which ones will change your view of the world forever.

  6. Sometimes I wonder if we all have to reach a point where we say, "It's time." Maybe if not in actuality, then at least figuratively. I have felt that way recently myself. Although, for some reason, the five year mark is feeling more momentous than I would like.

    I am praying that sunny room will be bringing nothing but sunshine very, very soon.

  7. When you first told me you had know D eight years, since Matthew, I couldn't really wrap my head around that amount of time.
    In his words, you are one determined lady. Time does heal but even more healing will be having that room filled with the screaming joy of baby dinkypie.

  8. i definitely agree that it's time to feel less sad.

    when we bought our house i chose the smallest bedroom to be the nursery. in my head it was only going to be our office temporarily. three years later it's just a mess of papers and crap. we bought some new office furniture two months ago and i can't get myself to just put the room together.

    btw, i'm glad that the dumb painters fixed their mess!

  9. I hear you loud and clear. I think it is a huge step to be where you are, and wishing/ready to move into a new stage. You will probably have those reminders for a long time to come, but I can now say that they get easier and less ferocious with time.

    I SO hope that you get to make new memories in that space.

  10. I'm so happy you got up the energy and courage to change that room. Gladder still that you are feeling something like hope and healing. Boy do you deserve some of that.

  11. This is our first month back trying to conceive. I think of the bedroom full of boxes of books and, yeah, boxes of broken shoes. I don't think I'll clean it out or decorate until there are dirty diapers in our garbage can.